Features in the riverside garden
The history of The Weir Garden dates back to the Roman times and has seen many changes in fashion throughout the centuries. The garden we see today is predominantly 1920s due to the several features installed by Roger Parr after he purchased the estate in 1920.
Roger Parr invested in the redevelopment of the pleasure grounds at The Weir garden. With the help of his head gardener, William Boulter, Parr created new walks and added planting to enhance the display of spring flowers. He built a new rustic hut, a rockery and concrete boathouse. Most importantly he built the retaining river wall to slow down the erosion caused by the river.
Parr took great pride in his garden, as he used to regularly entertain. A keen fisherman, Parr often invited his friends for salmon fishing along the Wye. From the nearby camp at Credenhill, he invited RAF officers for tea.
Built in 1920 and commissioned by Roger Parr, the boathouse is hugely significant at The Weir being one of only few to remain alongside the Wye-side today. Typical of the twenties era, the boathouse is constructed from reinforced concrete and was cast in situ. Parr also commissioned the build of the concrete wall, around the same time on the riverside to deter further erosion.
Years of erosion and flooding began taking its toll on the boathouse and the Trust made the decision to pin it, stabilising it for the future.
Also highly fashionable during the twenties, rockeries were alternative and attractive features for the garden. Many exotic trees were planted around the small pools and the mossy rocks still provide a cool, damp setting for watching nature today.
The rustic hut
The rustic hut was built by Roger Parr in the 1950s. It was designed as a fisherman’s hut, a sheltered place to sit and enjoy the spectacular views in bad weather. All the materials were locally sourced or from the estate itself, and the hut was designed to blend in with the surroundings. The floor is made up of river cobbles, white quartz and horses’ teeth, the latter being used to form a letter ‘P’ for Parr. The walls are made from rough elm timbers and the seat has been decorated with split Birch to give it a truly rustic appearance.